Sambit Mohanty
Jun 12, 2017

Cannes Lions 2017: What exactly does one look forward to?

Sambit Mohanty, NCD of J Walter Thompson, puts down a list of thing he's looking forward to at this year's festival

Cannes Lions 2017: What exactly does one look forward to?
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is just around the corner. And there’s a frisson of excitement in the air for this grande-dame of advertising festivals - a true demonstration of where the industry is going and how high the bar for creativity is set. 
Am I looking forward to being there? Hell, yes. But the question is, what exactly does one look forward to in the first place.
First things first, ‘tis the salubrious climes of the Cote d’Azur - that’s perfect for any kind of festival, let alone creativity. So one does look forward to escaping the blazing Delhi heat for the dappled sunshine of the French Riviera, albeit for a week or two.
Now that we’ve got the weather out of the way, on to the stuff that really matters. Jaw-dropping, gob-smacking marketing solutions (ads are not even called advertisements anymore) that bring out the ugly, green-eyed monster in you. One looks forward to feasting on a smorgasbord of winning ideas that have touched the minds, hearts and wallets of people (hey, what’s advertising if it doesn’t sell.) 
Cannes is where the work of the now and the work of the future come together in one place. So, watching and learning how technology, data and content powerthese amazing ideasis a must. JWT’s ‘The Next Rembrandt’,a fascinating merger of creativity and technology– winner of two Grand Prix awards - is one such example that stood out from last year.
Also, the globe’s top ad talent comes to roost here. So one looks forward to meeting new contacts, learning something new and being inspired by the brightest and the sharpest people in the industry. To feed off the energy of people who are excited to be doing the work they’re doing and raising the game.
What also makes Cannes Lions unforgettable is the illustrious names that descend on the festival to share their knowledge. When an idea really works, sharing it completes us. Naturally, the diverse roster of speakers is a big draw. Marketers and creative gurus apart, who doesn’t look forward to inspiring nuggets from personalities such as Ray Kurzweil (inventor, author & futurist), Simon le Bon (lead singer, Duran Duran), Helen Mirren (actor) and Lydia Polgreen (editor-in-chief, Huffington Post) – all of whom are going to be speaking at this year’s festival.
Now for what one really, really looks forward to. Getting shortlisted for a Lion and -if you strike metal - getting on stage to pick up that much-coveted trophy. Then popping open a bottle of Rose in celebration. There’s not much looking forward to be done after that. It’s just looking around and basking in the glory – and the envy that inevitably follows - the green-eyed monster that refuses to be quelled.
(Sambit Mohanty will be blogging for Campaign India through the festival. Views expressed are personal.) 
Campaign India

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